Can we talk about #HalftimeShow2020?
With a look at social media, I read way too many posts from both men and women-honestly more from men-that included both positive and negative comments on the physical appearance of both JLo & Shakira.
I’m all for free speech, but some of the negative comments from men on my Facebook page caused me to delete some of my “friends”. (The purge felt good!)
Our culture’s hyper-focus on womens’ bodies and overall appearance hurts both women, men, and the state of our romantic relationships.
Of course, it isn’t just men who are criticizing women in this way. Judging by my feed, more men were doing this last night. Maybe its just that more were watching The Super Bowl and posting about it. Maybe women were watching and criticizing privately? I don’t know. But I do know that this form of toxic masculinity is real. And that a lot of women are also guilty of accepting this and making such comments themselves.
When I see women criticizing other women in this way, it is a whole other kind of maddening! As if we don’t get enough criticism from men, we have to do it to ourselves —and publicly while we are at it? This is no bueno.
This type of dialogue is this stuff that helps make women with low self-esteem, poor body image, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and tolerance for relationship abuse.
This is a good time for me to say once again: We ladies need to support each other instead of tearing each other down!
I am helping to do my part, this Saturday, February 8th, by co-hosting a special event, Galentine’s Day 2020, for single women looking for love, with my friend & colleague, Love Coach Junie Moon.
The event takes place in the Valley & Bloom Lounge in Montclair, from 4-6PM.
We will be sharing all we know that can help women stay away from limiting beliefs, unhealthy behaviors, and toxic men so that they can find and keep a healthy and amazing relationship!
To learn more about our event and buy tickets, check out our the link here.
Sixteen days into 2020, and I have some exciting announcements for you! There will be a lot of changes for me personally and professionally this year and throughout the decade. I am happy to have you along for the ride! If you are not already following my journey, feel free to do so on Instagram or Facebook.
Happy New Year & Best Wishes for "The Roaring 20s" from our family to yours! Also, today is World Introvert Day; so a special shout out to all the introverts among us who are likely dying to recharge after all the craziness of the holiday season!
For the "single" introvert: If you haven't tried professional matchmaking, it could be a dream for you! With personalized introductions, you don't have to have awkward small talk with people you meet at bars or go on draining dates with people you meet online--who look nothing like their photos.
If you are very serious about finding someone special, there are few things better than being proactive about it by hiring a qualified professional to personally handpick, recruit, and vet potential matches for you. Many of us matchmakers, we don’t mess around; background checks are included!
I am currently accepting new clients, but if we are not a “match”, I can happily refer you to one of the matchmakers in my vast international network of love professionals. If you are in the NYC area and aren’t ready to hire a matchmaker but would like to be considered for introductions, feel free to apply to my confidential matchmaking database at www.RachelRusso.com. Curious to learn more? Go ahead, email me!
By the way, if you are curious about the matchmaking industry from a business perspective-and are looking for a career change in the new year-feel free to get in touch. Not only am I still hiring recruiters-and offering everyone generous commissions for referring single friends-but I am still teaching online and live classes with Matchmaking Institute. I will be teaching at The Global Love Conference in NYC this March. More info here.
Meantime, as a reminder: I am offering a New Year's Special Strategy Session for singles, couples, half-couples--anyone who could use some fresh perspective for finding or keeping love. Note: I also do strategy sessions for entrepreneurs interested in matchmaking, and I am happy to extend the offer to you. My Strategy Sessions can be life-changing! And when booked before Jan 20, 2020, they are now twenty-percent off.
If you wish to jumpstart your success in love and life during These Roaring Twenties, click here to learn more, and reserve your spot on my calendar today. Have a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year!
As the year comes to an end, I am reflecting back on what I have experienced both personally and professionally. While I could tell you all about my alternative medicines, gluten-free everything, and adventures and misadventures in business and love, I'll close off 2019 with one piece of relationship advice for you.
If I could only offer you one nugget of wisdom of creating a beautiful, new beginning for your love life for the next year and decade to come, it would be this.....
Make a real, strong effort to do all those things that you know- deep down-that you must do to achieve your desired outcome in the romance department. Do those uncomfortable things that could propel your forward to meet the right potential partners or strengthen the relationship that you already have. Just do them. Stop procrastinating! It is 2020 for God's sake! Do them now.
To get started pondering what needs to change, ask yourself: What do I need to leave behind? Here are my thoughts on the things everyone could benefit from ditching in the new year:
1. Focusing on the negative about your love life: This will bring nothing but more negativity to your dating/ relationship experience.
2. Holding on to anger from the past: Whether you are carrying around negative feelings toward your ex or your current partner, this is self-sabotage.
3. Clinging to the hope of getting back together with an ex: Don’t hold your breath. If they truly wanted to be with you, they would be with you.
4. Watching your ex’s Insta stories: See # 2.
5. Being unrealistic with your match criteria or having too high of expectations in your relationship: This can keep you single or unhappily coupled for a long, long time.
6. Comparing your love life to that of your parents/siblings/friends/co-workers/exes: You are in competition with no one. And all that glitters isn’t gold, so don’t be fooled by those happily-ever-after social media posts.
7. Ignoring someone you are dating/ in a relationship with because it seems easier than telling the truth: You’ll create a much healthier dynamic if you can learn to get comfortable having uncomfortable conversations.
8. Ghosting: Don't be a coward. Whether you had three dates with someone or spent three years of your life, give them the common courtesy of properly ending the relationship.
9. Expecting the other person to read your mind: Communicate what you want to increase the chances of getting it. No one should have to play guessing games.
Out with the old, in with the new, right?
I know it is easier said than done, and that is why I am offering a New Year's Special Strategy Session for anyone who is interested in getting a little support along the way. My Strategy Sessions can be life-changing! And when booked before Jan 20, 2020, they are now twenty-percent off. If you are truly ready to make 2020 YOUR year-and to stop saying that every year-click here to learn more and reserve your spot on my calendar today.
In the meantime, have a safe and happy New Year's Eve, and best wishes for The Roaring 20s!
Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!
A few things that I wanted to share in honor of the holiday:
My “attitude of gratitude”: I find that practicing gratitude is one of the best things that we can do to caterpillar our success in love and life! Writing down three things a day that I am grateful for everyday has truly impacted me in a positive way. It has definitely brought me more things to be grateful for, and I encourage you to try it and unlock the door to deeper gratitude for you!
Today, I’m feeling most grateful for my family, my health & wellness, and the fact that I’m in a sustainable and rewarding career that has been all about helping people find & keep love for fifteen years now! (Sometimes, re: the latter, I’m like: Wow. It really is cool that I’ve got to do this for so long! What an honor to help people like this.)
I want to show my gratitude for YOU! Whether you have been following me for years or following me for a day, I am thankful for you! I’d truly be honored to be a part of your journey to finding and/or keeping love. In that spirit, I’m offering two Thanksgiving Day Specials at Rachel Russo Relationships for you. Read on........
From now through Dec 1rst, you can book a Strategy Session for half the price! That’s one hour of coaching-phone or video call-for just $125. Let’s talk!
Want more support from me? The holidays are the perfect time for Email Coaching. You can try one month at twenty percent off when booked before Dec 1rst. That’s $400 for the opportunity to pick my brain everyday via email. If you have a lot of burning questions and could use someone to keep you on track in your love life, this is an incredible value that can be a total game-changer!
For more details on either special offer, visit the link here or email me at Rachel@RachelRusso.com with questions.
Have a fantastic holiday!😘
I attended my cousin's wedding this week in Northern, NJ; I had a wonderful time with family--including my mother and sister, pictured with me here.
Weddings have a way of causing us to reflect upon our own happily-ever-after- or lack thereof- don't they? Do you ever wonder what the secret is to finding a quality partner and creating a sustainable, fulfilling love life?
While I don't have it all figured out, I have a lot of insight on this "secret". The truth is, there are strategies that can help anyone improve his or her love life--no matter who they are or what their age is.
Let’s face it. Many believe that age makes finding love harder. Being in the second half of life and getting “back out there” can feel daunting. I work with many clients in a matchmaking and dating coaching capacity who have struggled to start over as a single in midlife. Getting over exes and breakups is half the battle.
But, gosh, it seems so hard for many to just find someone appealing who offers basic respect and genuine interest these days. If you fall into this category and have been dealing with these types for too long, check out my thoughts on how to move forward here.
With divorce rates skyrocketing and people feeling more dissatisfied in partnership than ever before, and being in midlife after multiple sucky relationships, I understand why one would think it isn’t possible to have a fulfilling relationship let alone find one so late in life. But this isn't true; it is just a limiting belief.
Click here to read more what I have to say about limiting beliefs at this time.
Would you rather hear me talk about how to have dating success in midlife? You can check out my episode on a recent podcast, Midlife Love Out Loud: Your One Stop Love Shop, hosted by my friend and colleague, Junie Moon, the Love Coach. This podcast could be a great resource for you!
Midlife Love Out Loud offers topics for women-which could also be helpful for men-like:
Every profession has those Frequently Asked Questions. In the dating industry, people sometimes think no topic is off limit! I get asked a lot of the same questions over and over, but, I also get asked really fun, unique questions too.
Like in a recent interview, for instance. I was feeling a little like Carrie Bradshaw yesterday, seeing my quote printed in the November 14th edition of New York Post. You can zoom in above for my thoughts on this “self-partnering” trend. Or, make it, much easier and check out the online version of the story here.
Yes, I think this term is an oxymoron. And, no, just because I help people find and keep love for a living doesn’t mean I think there is anything wrong with any woman-or man- being single!
And I love to talk to singles! In my nearly fifteen years working as a matchmaker and dating & relationship coach, singles have been curious about everything--including my own love life. Well, here are the most popular questions that I am currently asked.
1. How did you become a matchmaker?
Okay, in all fairness, I was always asked this one, so it's not unique to the dating scene in 2019. As you can imagine, I have told this story a lot--you may have even heard of it! Cliff Notes:
2005. Out of college. Psychology Major. Craiglist ad. For a "Unique Social Work Opportunity". NYC Startup. Haven't looked back. Although, of course, my career has evolved to including writing, speaking, coaching, teaching, and my newest project: Couple's Therapy and Workshops.
2. What is the best dating app?
Well, that depends on a few things--including age!
Dating does not necessarily get easier as you get older. For many, it gets harder. But it is not impossible to navigate today's dating scene and find someone date-able off an app. (Confession: Although dating apps are certainly not my favorite way to meet a man, I even once got a relationship out of it myself. Thanks, Bumble.)
One thing is for sure: It can only help to be informed of the options and choose the best app for you. If you'd like to learn more, check out this article that was recently published--using some quotes from singles ladies I sent her way!
3. Can you match me up?
Maybe! If you are a male or female in NYC, CT, NJ, or Boston, I might have a client for you. I invite you to apply to my confidential database to be considered for a complimentary introduction. Please note: I only take a handful of clients on at a time. I offer a boutique service at a high price point, so I may not have someone for you at this time. I can keep you in mind though, as long as you are still single.
If you want to do something more proactive, you can invest in a Strategy Session--whether done in person or virtually. In this session, we brainstorm a ton of opportunities for you. If I don't have a match for you, I may be able to introduce you to one of the hundreds of matchmakers I know (through my work with Matchmaking Institute) who could match you! Alternately, I can show you how to be your own matchmaker--whether on or offline.
So there you have it! Want to ask me another question? Shoot me an email at Rachel@RachelRusso.com
If you spent a day in the life of my matchmaker shoes, one of the first things you would notice is this: A lot of people have a lot of irrational thoughts that are most definitely having a negative impact on their dating and relationships.
Just about everyone has these cognitive distortions at one time or another,but some people are extreme and at risk of self-sabotage. Read on for: 4 Irrational Thoughts That Lead To Self-Sabotage In Relationships:
1. Overgeneralization: This is when you make broad interpretations from limited experience. Don't define yourself as awkward just because you had one painfully awkward date.
2. Catastrophizing: Some think their love life requires everyone to go into a national state of emergency! They truly believe they are the only one who has it this bad. If you are one of those people, I have a pep talk for you.
3. Jumping to conclusions: With this flavor of cognitive distortion, people interpret the meaning of an event with hardly any evidence. For instance, I tell my client that the woman I hoped to introduce him to has declined the invitation to meet. He automatically assumes it is because he's too old, and she prefers to date younger. But the truth is, it has nothing to do with that! Be honest with yourself. Do you do this?
4. Disqualifying the positive: You are seriously getting into dangerous territory if you do this in your relationships. When you focus on the negative about your partner-and conveniently forget all the positive-you have a recipe for bitterness and disaster.
Are you guilty as charged? Work on changing your thoughts to improve your love life, and if you don't know how, shoot me an email at Rachel@RachelRusso.com.
One of my favorite questions to ask potentials clients in my Matchmaking/Dating Coaching consultations is:
Why are you single?
No, really though......
Why is it, that at this moment in time, you are not in the relationship that you wish to be in?
While most sitting in front of me have given this more than their fair share of thought, there are some who truly have no understanding of the reasons behind their single status.
In case you are wondering ......Here are some of the top reasons why you might be single:
You are trying too hard.
Nearly a decade ago I went on ninety-two dates in one year as a part of a social research experiment for a reality dating blog in NYC. I have since never gone on half as many dates again and never will!--yet I continue to be amazed by all of the singles I know who serial date like it's their job! One word: COUNTERPRODUCTIVE! Say "no" to swipe culture and the paradox of choice. Just....pick one! Even if you are living here. Especially if you are living here.
You aren't trying hard enough.
On the other side of the coin, you have to put effort into your love life. If you aren't doing something-whether online or offline-to get exposure to compatible singles, you aren't even in the game. As the saying goes: You have to be in it to win it. And if you are in it and your first dates aren't leading to seconds, you have to take a step back and take a look at the impression you are making. If you aren't being authentic, how will you ever attract your true match?
You are full of yourself, and it is turning people off.
That being said, if your true self is self-absorbed, tends to monopolize the conversation, never asks your date any questions about his/her self. and makes the courtship all about your needs and desires: Don't be yourself. Seek. Help. Immediately. Or die alone. With cats.
You are lacking self- confidence.
Everyone finds self-confidence sexy. But, unfortunately, life gets in the way of how we feel about ourself sometimes. If you beat yourself up because you don't make enough money, because you gained a couple of pounds, because your hair is falling out, stop right now. Make a plan to start feeling good about yourself. Get a side hustle. Hire a trainer. Clean up your diet. Start taking probiotics for your hair. (Life hack: SUCH a connection between hair loss and gut health. Read this if you don't believe me.)
You are too narrow-minded about what you want.
Lose the laundry list! If you have fourteen criteria that must be checked off before you even agree to have a drink with someone, chances are you are making it impossible to find real love. You can't just order a partner like you order everything else on Amazon! Love doesn't work that way. Also, it isn't convenient, so if you won't travel five miles outside your apartment, you are missing out on potential partners.
You have no idea what you want!
If you don't know what you want, you aren't going to manifest it out of thin air! You really must have some understanding of the type of person you'd be compatible with. I am big on singles understanding the core values that they want to share with a match. Often, like attracts like. And, well, you'll have to listen to my recent podcast interview for the juicy deets, but it is not a crime to want to date someone of a similar background! It is, however, a crime to go out into the dating world and waste everyone's time because you haven't the slightest understanding of what your heart desires!
Are you noticing a common theme here? Extremes might work for reality TV, but they don't work in the dating world. If you haven't found your summer love yet, it is likely that you need to find BALANCE.
Not to mention a good matchmaker! :)
Sometimes, it really feels like the modern day dating scene is a battlefield! In order to improve your confidence and chances of getting into (or staying in) a successful relationship-and protect your time, energy, and emotions-it is crucial to identify relationship red flags early.
You might be wondering: What is a relationship red flag anyway? Well, it is a sign or series of signs that indicate someone is not relationship material--or relationship material for you. Since I don’t know you personally, I’ll share common relationship red flags that indicate a male or female isn’t good enough for a relationship with anyone. After avoiding people who show these red flags, you will then be empowered to figure out what else is a red flag for you.
But first let me say: All red flags are not created equal. Some are incredibly toxic and lead to heartbreak. A few that come to mind can indicate serious issues. Talking non-stop about himself/herself on a first date can make for a narcissistic personality. Binge drinking on most dates can indicate addiction to drugs or alcohol. Asking you for money can indicate serious financial problems. Checking out or flirting with others can be a hint of cheating. An angry outburst behind the wheel can be correlated with physical abuse down the road. If you see these type of red flags, my advice is to RUN--fast.
Now for the common red flags…
To begin with, you have to look at how someone treats you in the early stages of dating. There are certain behaviors that show someone (often a guy--sorry to seem stereotypical) is more interested in a hookup--like failing to make plans in advance, texting during late night hours, not contacting you between “dates”, initiating conversation that is focused on sex, harassing you for “sexy pics” and pushing for sex very early on.
One of the easiest ways to determine this is to look at his communication or lack thereof. If he frequently ignores your text messages and never calls, it is a sign that he isn’t looking to commit to a relationship. If he always takes a really long time to reply, that is a bad sign too. Does he only call you from the car and cut the conversation off as soon as he gets home? Does he never take your preferences or schedule into account when planning dates? Does he expect you to constantly accommodate him? Disregard your feelings? Selfish! If your gut says you’re not a priority, you probably aren’t! (Same goes for women, of course....)
The most effective way to determine someone's intentions early on-and throughout the dating experience-is to trust actions more than words. Do not listen to what someone says if his or her actions are not in line with what is coming out of their mouth. If you can’t be objective or lack the confidence in determining whether someone is relationship-ready or really into you, talk to a friend, coach, or therapist. Share screenshots if necessary! Remember other people can see things that you can’t sometimes. You are in it and have blind spots.
As relationships progress, it is even more important to look at those red flags because they will tell a lot about whether things will continue in a good direction or not. At this point, you may be even more “blinded” because you’ll be high off the chemistry and comfortable with that person. But you have to be honest with yourself. Now that you know him/her better, are they ready to commit?
If someone talks about an ex too much, it is a red flag. If someone is holding on to bitterness from the past, it is only a matter of time before they take it out on you! Does he fail to introduce you to friends and family after a considerable time dating? This may be because he does not see you in his future. This is a sign of a commitment-phobic guy.
Other things to consider:
Does he/she make false promises? This is a sign of dishonesty and an indication that you may have difficulty trusting them. Do they withdraw and shut down every time you want to talk about feelings or where the relationship is headed? Again, fear of commitment…
To be honest with you, one thing my career has taught me: If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, please have the confidence to assume: Its a duck! All you need is the confidence to walk away from that duck and trust you can find better!
If you can look out for these common red flags on a regular basis and steer clear, you will save yourself a ton of heartache and be on the right path to finding the perfect match for you.
Need help spotting and avoiding the red flags? Book me for a Strategy Session or sign up for Email Coaching here.